Definition of straddle in English:



  • 1 Sit or stand with one leg on either side of.

    ‘he turned the chair round and straddled it’
    • ‘He tossed his books on the table and straddled the chair opposite me.’
    • ‘Stand tall with your feet straddling either side of the step, toes forward.’
    • ‘I walked into the room and straddled my director's chair.’
    • ‘I sat down, straddling the chair opposite the young man before me.’
    • ‘He turned the chair around and straddled it at the side of the bed, leaning his chin on the back, peering at me like he'd just uncovered a new species of primate.’
    • ‘But here they are again, six whalers sitting as they used to, straddling chairs built from wooden boxes with binoculars attached to the high backs.’
    • ‘He smiled at me, turned his chair around and straddled it.’
    • ‘He spun a chair around and straddled it as he sat down, folding his arms across the wrought iron back.’
    • ‘Max straddled the bike next to the girl's stand and gave her a wide smile.’
    • ‘She straddled the chair and rested her forehead on the back of it.’
    • ‘Place the appropriate amount of weight on the bar and straddle it with your feet just a little wider than hip-distance apart.’
    • ‘David sat across the small room from her, straddling his computer chair, with his arms crossed over the backrest and his head on them.’
    • ‘Once boys start wearing pants it becomes easier for them to stand on their heads, twirl on railings, straddle fences, play leapfrog, and walk on stilts.’
    • ‘He cried out and rolled on his side as she straddled him and grabbed the collar of his jacket.’
    • ‘She was an expert horse women with a side saddle but as she had never ridden straddling a horse and she didn't know if she'd be good at it.’
    • ‘I slipped my leg over the side and straddled the bike.’
    • ‘Her knees straddled his stomach to either side, pinning him beneath her.’
    • ‘Alex was lying in the couch while Gabriel straddled one of the chairs by the dining table halfway across the room.’
    • ‘She straddled his chest, keeping him from standing up.’
    • ‘Matthew walked away for a second to another table and came back holding a third chair before placing it down backwards on one side of the table, straddling it as he sat down.’
    sit astride, stand astride, bestride, bestraddle
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    1. 1.1Place (one's legs) wide apart.
      ‘he shifted his legs, straddling them to keep his balance’
      • ‘As the rope passes underneath your feet, lunge your left leg forward and your right foot backward so that your feet are straddled about a stride's length apart.’
      • ‘She pulled herself onto the bed and straddled her legs over his waist leaning forward to kiss his neck.’
    2. 1.2archaic [no object]Stand, walk, or sit with one's legs wide apart.
      ‘the colonel straddled in front of the fire’
      • ‘He straddled over to the car and gently slid her into the backseat.’
      • ‘At points the passage was wide enough to make straddling difficult but eventually we were able to climb up to a drier section and yet more challenging climbing.’
    3. 1.3Extend across or be situated on both sides of.
      ‘a mountain range straddling the Franco-Swiss border’
      • ‘San Antonio successfully straddles the line between historic relic and modern city.’
      • ‘Next year she sets off for Mount Roraima, a 280 square metre plateau, overlooking the savannah and straddling the borders of Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.’
      • ‘It is located on the Rwandan side of a mountain range that straddles the borders of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda.’
      • ‘Her excellent backing band here are adept at straddling the border between folk and rock, and play sensitively throughout, but Denny's vocal talents are best showcased when things are a bit mellower.’
      • ‘Everest straddles the Nepal-China border, and she climbed the mountain from the Nepalese side.’
      • ‘The most loyal fans seem to be those in areas straddling the Tipperary border.’
      • ‘The Indonesian archipelago stretches over a vast area, straddling the equator.’
      • ‘The views they have come up with straddle the entire range of options.’
      • ‘The proposed site was spread across five townlands in the Mullaghereirk mountains which straddle the Limerick, Cork and Kerry borders.’
      • ‘Matthews creates works that successfully straddle the line between contrived arty flourishes and successful accidents.’
      • ‘The appearance is dramatic and bold, straddling the divide between classic and modern.’
      • ‘The company's client base straddles a wide variety of sectors.’
      • ‘With a heatwave currently straddling both sides of the Atlantic, isn't it about time we engaged in a little necessary clothes-culling?’
      • ‘The city straddles a sandy spit bordering the Gulf of Mexico, it's numerous 10-storey concrete hotels built on low-lying sand-dunes.’
      • ‘The appellation Nuits-St-Georges lies both sides of the town which straddles the small river Meuzin and incorporates the vineyards of neighbouring Prémeaux-Prissey to the south.’
      • ‘By examining the conventions of published private letters, he shows how they straddle the border between fiction and reality.’
      • ‘We took off towards the magnificent mountains that straddled the Sligo / Leitrim border.’
      • ‘Our property straddled the narrow ridge and fell away steeply on both sides.’
      • ‘Maradi's sprawling markets straddle the main highway which passes south to Nigeria.’
      • ‘The last remaining natural populations are largely in the low coastal and interior mountains straddling the Yangtze River.’
      lie on both sides of, be situated on both sides of, extend across
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    4. 1.4North American Take up or maintain an equivocal position with regard to (a political issue)
      ‘a man who had straddled the issue of taxes’
      • ‘He straddles issues with as much vigor as most politicians, but nonetheless manages to retain a reputation as a straight talking guy who says what he means and means what he says.’
      • ‘Does he sometimes straddle difficult issues in an effort to please multiple constituencies?’
      • ‘Can the Democrats continue to straddle the values issues under those circumstances?’
      • ‘But long ago he blew a chance by straddling the war issue - opposing going to war without a multilateral coalition yet empowering Bush to do so.’
      • ‘The Democrats' leaders in Congress have tried to straddle the issue.’
      • ‘This is the kind of issue that you can't straddle.’
      be equivocal about, be undecided about, be non-committal about, equivocate about, vacillate about, waver about
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    5. 1.5Fire at (a target) with shots or bombs so that they fall short of and beyond it.
      ‘the crew of a plane straddled the submarine with depth charges’
      • ‘Antiaircraft fire shells straddled his sitting Kingfisher as Oliver pulled Coumbre and Jacobs aboard.’


  • 1An act of sitting or standing with one's legs wide apart.

    ‘a sideways-on stance such as a straddle’
    • ‘She positioned herself, unknowingly into a straddle.’
    • ‘The hardest part of this trick is getting your hips to start moving upward from the straddle.’
    • ‘Well the toe-touch is where you jump and your legs go out like a straddle, as if you were sitting on the floor with your legs out in a straddle, and you've got to touch your toes.’
    • ‘The height of romanticism; there was little else I could do apart from down my drink, suppress a ladylike belch and swing my legs around you in an elegant straddle.’
    • ‘Over time, mix in the boxer's shuffle and the side straddle.’
    • ‘She stretched her legs and arms, and almost fell asleep in her straddle.’
  • 2Stock Market
    A simultaneous purchase of options to buy and to sell a security or commodity at a fixed price, allowing the purchaser to make a profit whether the price of the security or commodity goes up or down.

    • ‘When they think that the saturation point has been reached, they reverse their position: they replace their existing straddles with the opposite ones.’
    • ‘Calendar spreads, straddles, strangles and butterflies are some of the strategies designed to profit from those types of situations.’


Mid 16th century: alteration of dialect striddle, back-formation from dialect striddling ‘astride’, from stride + the adverbial suffix -ling.